December 5th, 2007
05:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Thompson does not have hunting license

Thompson said Wednesday he regrets not going hunting in a while.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Fred Thompson has made a point of visiting gun shops and gun shows while hitting the campaign trail in New Hampshire and South Carolina, usually with camera crews in tow.

But Thompson said Wednesday he does not have a hunting license, nor has be been hunting recently.

"It's been too long, it's been too long," Thompson told CNN Wednesday.

Asked if he has a hunting license, Thompson said he currently does not.

"At the present time I do not, but I have been hunting plenty of times. I usually hunt birds and used to have my own skeet shoot, and I got a chance to shoot and practice a lot back then."

Thompson, an ardent defender of Second Amendment rights, was appearing in Columbia to pick up the endorsement of South Carolina Citizens for Life.

Just yesterday, Thompson appeared at Blue Ridge Shooting Sports in Greer, South Carolina where he handled a gun and said he is "pretty much a shotgun man these days."

Thompson also visited the Land and Sky Gun Show in Ladsen, South Carolina in late November, proclaiming it "a beautiful day in paradise."

At the CNN/YouTube debate on November 28, Thompson was asked if he owns a gun.

"I own a couple of guns, but I'm not going to tell you what they are or where they are," he said.

Thompson said Wednesday he wished he had more time to go hunting.

"It seems like other things seem to be getting in its way," he said.

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Fred Thompson • South Carolina
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Arnold

    Only liberals and girly men don't know you can buy a weekend hunting licenses these days..

    December 5, 2007 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. GaVoter

    I have more guns than children. It's something you city folks just can't understand..

    December 5, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  3. Lev Klinemann, Redondo Beach CA

    Fred Thompson reminds me of Forest Gump, while he's running for 4 years ,or so, he suddenly stops and says:

    "I'm pretty tired, I'd like to go home now"

    We understand Fred, take a nap and let people who will actually work as presidents run.

    Good night Freddy...

    December 5, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  4. Mike, Dover, DE

    Who cares? The man doesnt hunt then he doesnt hunt. How this is even news is beyond me. I have plenty of guns, and don't hunt. Whats your point?

    December 5, 2007 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  5. T. Boyd, Depoe Bay, OR

    Maybe Huckabee's wife can teach him how to use a grenade launcher? Seems one doesn't need a license for those.

    December 5, 2007 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  6. MD, Glenmont, OH

    The point is that he doesn't have the balls to just say that he supports gun ownership and hunting...he has to become a rubber spine typical political a-hole and say "I would go hunting if I had more time...Is that exactly what you wanted to hear? I can say something else if it isn't"

    December 5, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  7. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Are we saying that a GOP candidate would pander to the "Gun Club?"

    Say it ain't so, Fred!!!

    December 5, 2007 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |


    only so-called "conservatives" think it actually means something about your character or strength if you go hunting!

    thats why a candidate would actually LIE about his love of guns to appease the sensitive nature of gun collectors to get more votes. because if you make fun of a mans gun its almost like your making fun of his manhood. and in most cases thats pretty much all the manhood they have.......

    you ever notice that the kid in high school that would talk about being tough all the time would either be the first person to back down in the face of danger or just get whooped? yea its the same case with these "conservative" "tough-guys" when you talk tough its human nature people wont test you on it. so the more you talk the safer you might be. that is until you do it to the wrong person!

    December 5, 2007 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  9. Aaron Smithsburg (used to be the country), Maryland

    The second amendment has nothing to do with hunting and has all to do with a private citizen having the ability to Coup d' taut the government if the government oversteps its boundaries. Period! Police, and military are not a well regulated militia, because like most people caught up in a government they would not protect the citizen but the system. Our forefathers knew this. That's why we started killing redcoats in the first place. Power is only absolute if they have overwhelming numbers and guns. As of today they don't, that's why were still a free country. The man is scarced of us and as long as we have that over the elitist they will never have the american people under their thumb. I proudly keep my guns in their case, but I haven't hunted recently myself, with so much rural development in my area, non of the farmers or land owners will let you hunt with a rifle or shotgun anymore too much of a liability. Hunting is like a country club thing now for yuppies, with the bread to afford hunting club dues and the luxury of having 20 or 30 acres to hunt on. But poor white trash like me are a much better shot. Ask the british what happens when you tick off a well armed group of rag-tag farmers.

    December 5, 2007 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  10. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    The perfect end to Fred Thompson's presidential campaign comes when his manager says, "Fred, there is a call for you from Dick Cheney. He's looking for a new hunting partner and would like to take you hunting tomorrow."

    December 5, 2007 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  11. ronnie knoxville tn.

    Niiiice gun

    December 5, 2007 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  12. Jason, Saint Louis, Missouri

    A complete non-issue. Thank you for wasting my time, CNN. I post the comment in the hopes that you screen your news a little better. I sure all the candidates said many things today, and they'll say more things tomorrow. Some things may be relevant to who would be the best candidate, but not all of them.

    December 5, 2007 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  13. Marc, Lafayette CA

    I have more guns than children. It's something you city folks just can't understand..

    Posted By GaVoter : December 5, 2007 6:14 pm


    “City folks” around the world are SO we can sleep at night. We were really worried there was a tons of your GaVoter children polluting the gene pool with the GaVoter "idiot gene".

    December 5, 2007 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  14. Ray Robison, Huntsville, Alabama

    Another typical hack job by CNN on a Republican. "He supports guns but doesn't have a hunting license? How dare he! What a hypocrit!" CNN has become so transparent it never even crosses my mind to turn the channel on anymore.
    Here, read this about Fred:

    You might learn something instead of reading this inane drivel.

    December 5, 2007 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  15. vtercell, just wanderin' around in America

    Heck, I've collected guns for years and have more than I can count, but I haven't hunted in probably more than 20 years. I'm not against hunters; I just can't think of any critter that deserves shooting for my amusement.

    Now some people...

    December 5, 2007 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  16. Sam, Archer FL

    It's a shame political candidates think they have to give the "target, hunting, skeet shooting" excuse for owning guns, to placate moderates. I'm sure Fred wanted to say "I carry a double-stack 9, anywhere it's legal, because there's a lot of a**holes out there."

    December 5, 2007 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  17. chris, chicago, il

    It's been too long, it's been too long.

    That's what people are saying about your campaign.

    December 5, 2007 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  18. hey allons,tn

    Hay don't support any candiate for president that want tax cuts permanent if tax cuts permanent get pass in to law then the rich billionairs will never pay taxes the taxes will be paid by the poor and middle class then the bush administration will want to raise taxes on the poor and middle class congress don't change the tax code to make the poor and middle class foot the tax bill TELL g.w. bush to go suck a cup of oil

    December 5, 2007 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  19. aaron Smithsburg, Maryland

    The second amendment isn't for recreational gun-owners to shoot chipmunks and deer, it for the private citizenry to quell a military uprising, or to coup d' etat a rogue government. Simple as that. A well regulated militia doesn't mean State police, or a national guard. Unfortunately the fact is police and military would hypothetically be the ones we'd have to fight, in such a scenario. Liberals don't fool yourselves, gun owners know this simple fact, that is why most of us are so adamantly opposed to gun control and cling to our guns like children. It's not because we don't want to save the countless peoples lives gun violence takes every year, but the countless lives we couldn't save because( We The People) became weak to tyranny.

    December 5, 2007 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  20. Jed in Texas

    Fred you might want to get some shooting pointers from Tricky Dick Cheney.Hes real good at shootin wittle birdies, etc. And to GA.VOTER, yes you are very scary, now go breath some more Nascar fumes! lmao

    December 5, 2007 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  21. Lee, Mays Landing New Jersey

    You know Mitt Romney claimed to be a hunter "pretty much his entire life" and then it was determined that he never had a hunting license and only went once when he was about 15 years old to shoot up some "varmints".
    These candidates will say anything to satisfy their gun-loving "base". This is all downright comical and then we hear that Huckabee's wife was firing a granade launcher to impress everyone with Huck's love of weapeonry.
    A Republican voter has 3 great gun-loving choices with these 3 guys.

    December 5, 2007 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |

    "I own a couple of guns, but I'm not going to tell you what they are or where they are," he said.

    Well, I own a couple of guns too, and I'm not going to tell you what they are or where they are, but if you want to visit me some night, you might find out.

    Do I need a hunting license? I don't think so.

    December 5, 2007 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  23. grubber, on

    It's just a matter of time till the gun culture explodes.
    People doing their hunting in shopping malls and schools.
    Robberies everywhere.

    December 5, 2007 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  24. SRP, Freeport, ME

    I'm not even remotely a fan of Fred Thompson, but the frequency of his hunting trips should have no bearing on his qualifications for the Oval Office.

    "Arnold," you chastise Thompson for apparently being too busy to get to go out end enjoy the outdoors or get a hunting license. Lighten up. Not everyone feels the need to hunt constantly.

    As long as he is standing up for gun ownership rights, and can prove that he is genuinely enthusiastic about the culture surrounding outdoor sports and hunting, then that should be enough.

    Obama '08.

    December 6, 2007 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  25. Michael, Jacksonville, FL

    You can always count on Republicans (and this Ticker) to focus on the issues that matter. With a multi-billion dollar war, a failing economy, record budget deficits, $100 a barrell oil, 12 million illegal immigrants in the country, 40 million citizens with no health insurance, and the nation's infrastructure falling apart, I really don't care whether a candidate has a freaking hunting liscence. If this is something you care about, please do the country a favor and stay home on election day.

    December 6, 2007 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
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